The Chief Bureau Officer of the Criminal Assets Bureau has said that CAB is targeting the seizure of cryptocurrencies, which is often the proceeds of crime, however, the value of cryptoassets can be difficult to realise.

Detective Chief Superintendent Michael Gubbins said cryptocurrency plays a part in some of the assets that CAB has seized and while there is a substantial value to the cryptocurrency, "we just don't have the keys to get that".

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, Det Chief Supt Gubbins said, "There are other cases where we have been able to realise the value of the cryptocurrency, but you must remember that these criminals continue to spend and flaunt their wealth on the purchase of jewellery, handbags, high high value items, clothing.

"Some things haven't changed," he said. "These people still flaunt or display their wealth to the communities and to the public."

The Criminal Assets Bureau has marked 25 years in operation at an event today.

Det Chief Supt Gubbins said that when it was set up in 1996 criminals were "obviously giving two fingers to society and to the communities by the way they were behaving and they flaunted their wealth which they had acquired through criminality".

He described the decision to set up CAB as "quite a very brave and innovative move by the government" at the time.

There were just 31 people working in CAB in the beginning, but this has since grown to a team of 99 people, he said.

Meanwhile, in its broad effort to reduce the use of cryptocurrencies in the payment of ransomware demands, the US Treasury said that the crypto community is responsible for making sure they do not directly or indirectly help facilitate deals that are prohibited by US sanctions.

"The virtual currency industry, including technology companies, exchangers, administrators, miners, wallet providers, and users, plays an increasingly critical role in preventing sanctioned persons from exploiting virtual currencies to evade sanctions and undermine US foreign policy and national security interests," Treasury said in new guidance.